By Jordan Parry, ASU Media Relations Student Assistant
After two-straight road losses left the Arizona State men’s basketball team searching for answers, two-straight home victories in three days and a weekend sweep over Pac-12 opponents was exactly what the doctor ordered. With the 72-51 impressive win in front of the home fans in Wells Fargo Arena on Saturday, ASU improves to 15-5 (4-3 in Pac-12), and 11-1 at home this season.
BIGGEST VICTORY MARGIN IN PAC-12 GAME UNDER HERB SENDEK
31 (69-38) vs. Oregon State (Jan. 8, 2009)
30 (90-60) at Stanford (Jan. 2, 2009)
25 (71-46) vs. Washington State (Jan. 10, 2010)
21 (72-51) vs. Colorado (Jan. 25, 2014)
The Sun Devils dominated throughout, fueled by an excellent performance on defense to set the tone from start to finish. ASU forced 12 turnovers in the first half, ultimately forcing Colorado to turn the ball over 19 time by game's end. The Devils capitalized and scored 28 points off turnovers.
Jahii Carson led the way for Arizona State with 18 points, six rebounds and four assists. Carson pulled up and sunk a transition three on his first shot of the game, giving him 1000 career points in his maroon and gold uniform.
Jonathan Gilling has come off the bench in the past two games, and frankly has made head coach Herb Sendek look like a genius. Since the move, Gilling has hit on seven-consecutive three-pointers and went 4-4 against Colorado. He was the only other Sun Devil in double-digit scoring, finishing with 12 points, five rebounds and two assists.
Eric Jacobsen, Gilling’s replacement in the starting lineup, had six points and grabbed six rebounds.
ASU shot a blistering 52.2 percent (12-23) in the first half and finished the contest shooting 48.9 percent (23-47) while holding the Buffaloes to 42.6 percent (20-47). The Devils had an inspiring effort from beyond the arc, finishing at 47.4 percent (9-19). Colorado shot 18.2 percent (2-11) from three.
It was a sloppy first half for both teams with 23 total turnovers, but Arizona State headed to the locker room with a 34-23 lead at halftime. Jacobsen electrified the home crowd in the first portion of the game by slamming through a put-back dunk after a Carson miss.
Coming out of the locker room, ASU went on a 17-6 run, aiding the squad to a hefty 22-point advantage. Eight quick points from Jermaine Marshall, including two almost identical threes, helped spark the eventual rout.
The weekend provided two crucial wins for the Sun Devils, but they now take to the road for a trip to California. ASU will face Cal on Wednesday, Jan. 29, for a slated 9:00 p.m. MT tip, before going into Stanford on Saturday, Feb. 1, for a 2:00 p.m. MT start.
PAC-12 CAREER BLOCKED SHOTS
1. 278 – Anthony Cook (Arizona), ’85-89
2. 269 – Jordan Bachynski (Arizona State), ’10-present
ASU STARTING LINEUPS 2013-14 (4)
Bachynski, Carson, Gilling, Marshall, McKissic (8-2/includes first four of season)
Bachynski, Carson, Gilling, Koulechov, Marshall (5-2)
Bachynski, Carson, Gilling, Kearney, McKissic (0-1 at Arizona; Marshall injured)
Bachynski, Carson, Jacobsen, Marshall, McKissic (2-0 vs. Utah/Colorado)